Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

  • July 12, 2013

    Gulf Coast Economics: Fish and Wildlife Dollars Hammer Development

    By Bob Marshall

    Conservationists fighting to protect fish and wildlife habitat usually are up against the same opponent: Business development.

    In the Midwest, that can mean agriculture. In the Northeast, it’s often sprawling business parks.

    But down on the Gulf Coast, where protecting wetlands is critical for fisheries, the other side is typically represented by oil and gas drillers or waterfront residential developments that turn marshes into finger canals with boat docks.

  • June 25, 2013

    House Kills Farm Bill and Sportsmen’s Hopes

    By Bob Marshall

    The House of Representatives stunned sportsmen’s conservation groups last week when it suddenly and unexpectedly killed its version of the Farm Bill, putting the nation’s largest and most effective conservation programs on a three-month death watch.

    Earlier, conservation groups had hailed the Senate passage of a Farm Bill and voiced hope a House version would be clearing that chamber in a matter of weeks, based on optimism from the GOP leadership. But those hopes melted quickly with the passage of two amendments supported by more conservative members. The first would have undone traditional price supports for milk producers; the second would have deepened already steep cuts in food stamps.

    Those measures eroded Democratic support, and when the vote was called, the bill failed 195-234.

  • August 21, 2012

    Conservation Update: Numbers of Hunters, Anglers in US on the Rise

    By Bob Marshall

    A press release from the Department of Interior last week held some of the best news in recent years for sportsmen—and the quality of life of all Americans: After decades of steady declines, the number of hunters and anglers in the U.S. showed significant increases over the last five years.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation showed the number hunters and anglers increased 9 and 11 percent respectively, part of the 38 percent of all Americans who participated in wildlife-related recreation. That was an increase of 2.6 million participants from the previous survey in 2006. A Service spokesperson said the survey, which has been done every five years since 1955, last showed an increase was in the late the 1980s — which means we've halted a 30-year slide.

  • May 25, 2012

    BREAKING NEWS: Recent Signups Keep CRP Acreage Near Cap

    By Bob Marshall

    Fish, wildlife and sportsmen got good news Friday when Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, announced recent and future sign-ups of 5.65 million acres in the Conservation Reserve Program, keeping that keystone conservation program close to its current authorized cap of 32 million acres.

    But in an interview with Field & Stream, Vilsack also urged sportsmen to keep the momentum going by urging their congressmen - particularly House members - not to swing the budget axe on conservation funding in the new Farm Bill currently under consideration.

  • April 10, 2012

    Conservation Update: New Ryan Budget Hits Sportsmen Harder - Again

    By Bob Marshall

    When it comes to fish, wildlife and public lands, the new House budget pushed through by the GOP reminds me of the old football cheer: "Hit- 'em again, hit 'em again — Harder! Harder!

" That's right, the elected representatives that led last year's unprecedented attack on fish and wildlife and hunting and fishing are back swinging the same sticks — only harder.

    The bill House Budget Chief Paul Ryan, R-WI, authored and steered to passage on a party-line vote, takes spending on conservation programs that support a healthy environment and outdoors sports to even lower levels than it had plunged last year.

  • December 6, 2011

    Conservation Update: House Sends Message Supporting Invasive Species

    By Bob Marshall

    House Votes to Allow Weaker Ballast Discharges

    Sportsmen and others concerned about the rising tide of invasive species lost a round to the shipping industry recently when the House voted to order the Environmental Protection Agency to use weaker ballast discharge standards established by that industry in setting new nationwide rules.

    Shipping ballast is known to have delivered dozens of invasives that have taken a heavy toll on fisheries and wildlife across the nation. States have been moving independently to stop the invasion, with 29 passing rules requiring strict cleaning and inspection of ballast. And the EPA is in the process of establishing nation-wide standards following a federal court ruling that made ballast and other water discharged form ships subject to regulations under the Clean Water Act.

  • November 18, 2011

    Conservation Roundup: Sportsmen Lose Millions

    By Bob Marshall

    $615 Million Cut from Conservation

    Sportsmen got a sneak preview of how much Congress values their issues earlier this week, and it wasn't pretty: House and Senate appropriators agreed to cut $615 million from key fish and wildlife conservation programs that support public hunting and fishing--not to mention the overall quality of human health.

    The cuts were contained in the 2012 “minibus” spending bill, so-called because it will only keep the government running another four weeks, rather than a regular "omnibus" spending bill which would have provided funding through the end of the fiscal year. 

    Among the drastic cuts announced:

    • Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program cut by $35 million.

    • Wetlands Reserve Program cut by approximately $200 million.

  • November 16, 2011

    Conservation Roundup: Call Super Committee Before Conservation Budget Cut

    By Bob Marshall

    Let the Super Committee Hear from You

    Sportsmen who care about the future of their traditions have an important job over the next week: Let the congressional Super Committee on the budget know that more cuts in conservation programs will only increase the deficit, not lower it.

    The Super Committee is the bi-partisan group charged with outlining $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over the next decade by Nov. 23rd. Failure to agree would trigger automatic cuts of the same amount, most of which would come out of defense and domestic spending. Congress already has cut conservation spending by 30 percent earlier this year, putting vital fish and wildlife programs on the edge of collapse.

    Conservation groups fear the Super Committee is considering even more damage--but they worry those automatic cuts could be just as severe. The frustrating thing is that, as mentioned in many previous posts here, conservation spending actually turns a profit for the nation's treasury. So it's time for sportsmen to contact their congressional delegations and tell them "Hands off of conservation funding.” You can find out who your reps are, and how to contact them here.

  • November 1, 2011

    Why I Think The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act Is A Good Idea

    By Hal Herring

    I truly believe that the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage proposal is one of the most thoroughly thought out plans I have ever seen. It doesn’t offend anyone or any group in any way. It truly leaves one of the world’s grandest remaining landscapes intact for future generations to experience and enjoy.”  -Roy Jacobs, hunter from Pendroy.

    Have you ever driven south along the Rocky Mountain Front from Babb, Montana, with Chief Mountain towering from the plains, the peaks and snowfields of Glacier Park staggering off to the west? Or drift down the near-empty highway, pulling over to glass for grizzlies in the distant aspen thickets bonsai’ed by fierce wind, cold temperatures, snow and summer’s parching heat? You can stop in Browning for gas and a Coke before travelling across the ether-clear Badger Creek to the Two Medicine River. Then you can head to the willow-enclosed Dupuyer Creek, passing the signs beckoning you westward at every washboard turnoff -- Swift Dam, Blackleaf Canyon, Ear Mountain, Teton River, Sun River. It's a country vast enough for a lifetime of exploring and then some.

  • October 21, 2011

    Guest Blog: Now is Not the Time to Retreat on Wildlife Conservation

    By Dan Ashe

    Editor’s Note: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director Daniel M. Ashe is the person ultimately responsible for the welfare of the nation's fish and wildlife and its habitat. This enormous duty puts Ashe in a perfect position to realize how much damage the threatened budget cuts to federal conservation programs would inflict on those priceless resources—and, as a lifelong hunter and fisherman, he also understands how much those cuts would harm our sports and their future.

    This is his response to Conservation Editor Bob Marshall’s recent column about the specific losses those potential cuts would cause, and explains why sportsmen must exclude conservation programs in any calls for budget reductions.

    by Dan Ashe

    Like all duck hunters, I know that, oftentimes, the worse the weather, the better the hunting. I look at our current conservation climate in much the same way.

    Although our nation is going through some rough economic weather right now, we can’t lose sight of the fact that there are still enormous needs – and opportunities - for fish and wildlife conservation.

    I understand and respect hunters, anglers, and shooters who believe that in the current budget climate, conservation programs should share in any cuts. This community has always put what is right ahead of what is easy, and I believe the reluctant support some may give for budget reductions comes from genuine patriotism.

    But we should recognize that America has always found a way to enrich her conservation legacy despite difficult times. During the Civil War, President Lincoln inked a land deal for what later became Yosemite National Park. In the 1930s, during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl era, hunters supported landmark legislation that created the Federal Duck Stamp and the Wildlife Restoration Act, contributing to the establishment of 142 wildlife refuges across the nation in that decade alone.

Page 1 of 212next ›last »